Comparing a disliked belief to a religious one has all the universal applicability of repeating what they say in a high - pitched tone of voice.

I think ciphergoth is right in that argument-by-reference-class should be avoided if possible.

I think that timtyler is onto something with the superstimulus thing - there are mundane, reductionist reasons why I might have ended up with the motivations that I do. I had pictured it more as "the result of a peculiar mix of social conditioning and rationalist memes". In evolutionary terms it definitely feels like a "mistake", which is why I wouldn't expect all that many people to be motivated the same way I am (maybe 0.1% of people, and I'm... (read more)

-1timtyler9yI think religions have by far the most extensive set of prior claims relating to trying to save large numbers of people - or the world. Comparisons [] seem inevitable. In the past, most with such beliefs have been delusional - suffering from hubris [] - and have subsequently been proclaimed false messiahs []. This raises the issue of how best to avoid that fate.

People who want to save the world

by Giles 1 min read15th May 2011247 comments


atucker wants to save the world.
ciphergoth wants to save the world.
Dorikka wants to save the world.
Eliezer_Yudkowsky wants to save the world.
I want to save the world.
Kaj_Sotala wants to save the world.
lincolnquirk wants to save the world.
Louie wants to save the world.
paulfchristiano wants to save the world.
Psy-Kosh wants to save the world.

Clearly the list I've given is incomplete. I imagine most members of the Singularity Institute belong here; otherwise their motives are pretty baffling. But equally clearly, the list will not include everyone.

What's my point? My point is that these people should be cooperating. But we can't cooperate unless we know who we are. If you feel your name belongs on this list then add a top-level comment to this thread, and feel free to add any information about what this means to you personally or what plans you have. Or it's enough just to say, "I want to save the world".

This time, no-one's signing up for anything. I'm just doing this to let you know that you're not alone. But maybe some of us can find somewhere to talk that's a little quieter.